RID­ING HIGH

DARYL BRAITH­WAITE’S ICONIC AUSSIE TRACK THE HORSES TURNS 25

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - Daryl Braith­waite joins Kate Ce­ber­ano, John Paul Young and Jon Stevens for the APIA Good Times tour at Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, Satur­day and Sun­day CAMERON ADAMS

I t has be­come our un­of­fi­cial na­tional an­them, way up in the sky with Farnsey’s You’re The

Voice, lit­tle dar­ling. But Daryl Braith­waite never thought his cover of The

Horses was more than a last­minute al­bum track.

Twenty-five years later, with the song more pop­u­lar than ever, he’s happy to be very, very wrong. Here’s a pot­ted his­tory of the mod­ern Oz clas­sic:

It’s mid-1990. Braith­waite has just fin­ished his al­bum, Rise. It’s the fol­low-up to 1988’s Edge, which saw him en­joy a John Farn­ham/ Whis­per­ing

Jack- style re­birth.

Braith­waite self-funded the al­bum as most la­bels had writ­ten him off as a relic of the ’70s and his band, Sher­bet. He had a nag­ging feel­ing Rise was miss­ing one song.

Braith­waite had a cas­sette of Rickie Lee Jones’s al­bum,

Fly­ing Colours, to play pro­ducer Si­mon Hussey a song called The Horses.

Braith­waite: “God knows why I picked that al­bum. I thought Si­mon could make it into some­thing like As The

Days Go By. (CBS A&R man) Peter Karpin thought it was a strange se­lec­tion.”

Karpin: “When he played it, I thought, ‘OK, Daryl ....’ I re­mem­ber telling Si­mon, ‘I’m not sure about that song’.”

Hussey: “At the time my whole take on Daryl was he could be an Aus­tralian Peter Gabriel.”

The song fea­tures gui­tar work by Tommy Em­manuel and US gui­tarist Jef Scott, and back­ing vo­cals by NZ singer Mar­garet Ur­lich.

Ur­lich: “It was an or­ganic thing. I did what I thought the song needed. Si­mon was call­ing from his deathbed, giv­ing us a few in­struc­tions but I pretty much made it up as I went along. I didn’t re­ally think much of it af­ter all that, ex­cept Daryl did an in­cred­i­ble vo­cal and it was a cool song.”

Karpin: “I re­mem­ber … hear­ing the track with Mar­garet’s vo­cals. I said, ‘They’re not back­ing vo­cals, it’s al­most a duet … I thought it sounded like a sin­gle.”

The la­bel went with the ti­tle track, Rise, as the al­bum’s first sin­gle. It made No.23 in Novem­ber 1990.

Chris Moss was work­ing on the project for CBS.

The Horses was cho­sen as the sec­ond sin­gle, and given to ra­dio in Jan­uary 1991. It en­tered the ARIA chart at No.99 on Fe­bru­ary 10, 1991.

Braith­waite: “I re­mem­ber CBS be­ing adamant in pro­mot­ing The Horses. God almighty, it was hard work. ”

Part of that pro­mo­tion in­cluded the video.

Moss: “We went with Grant Matthews, who was a pho­tog­ra­pher and had done a lot of Rolling Stone shoots.”

Matthews: “They wanted to change his im­age a lit­tle bit, move it from how he was in Sher­bet to some­thing a lit­tle more so­phis­ti­cated.”

There was one ma­jor prob­lem: Ur­lich did not want to be in­volved.

Ur­lich: “I was in Lon­don record­ing my sec­ond al­bum. I was so into that headspace. In ret­ro­spect it was prob­a­bly a lit­tle bit silly.”

The solution: They’d hire a model to mime Ur­lich’s parts. Gil­lian Bai­ley (nee Mather) was cho­sen.

Bai­ley re­mem­bers be­ing alarmed when told she’d need to mime.

Bai­ley: “I got the lyrics the night be­fore the shoot and I had to learn them quickly. I was nick­named Gilli Vanilli for a while.”

The Horses had a slow tra­jec­tory to the top, hit­ting No.1 on May 24, 1991, where it stayed for two weeks.

Pic­ture: ALEX COPPEL

Daryl Braith­waite with Blinkbon­nie Eques­trian Cen­tre horse Bai­ley.

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